The plan was for me, Lori, Jason, and Sara to meet at Muir Woods, hike over the top to Stinson Beach and meet Mike and Diana for some oysters and beer at the Sand Dollar Restaurant. Lori got sick at the last minute, and as we found out later, so did Mike. But neither infirm nor the weather kept the rest of us from coming out of our winter hibernation.
There was a truck in the Muir Woods parking lot with the license plate SGT KEN. While we were gearing up, a guy wearing BDUs and a pack equipped with a combat knife, whistle, and an assortment of other survival gear attached to it popped out of the forest. You must be Sergeant Ken, I cried. How'd you know, he responded. He came over, friendly as could be, and we chatted for a while. He told us he was reconnoitering a hike for a group of his students. Very military. Just got back from his second tour in Iraq.
We maneuvered over a tree that had fallen over the trail. (Sargent Ken had informed us that a couple of the other trails were closed due to fallen trees.)
Towards the top, there was an extremely picturesque tree with lots of Spanish moss growing out of lichen-covered rocks, so we stopped to bask in the magic.
At the pass, we froze in the cold wind. There wasn't any sun, just lots of clouds threatening rain. But hey, I had an umbrella! We were getting pretty tired from the exertion, and figured it was going to rain while we were eating lunch, so we had it all planned out. Mike and Diana would arrive, and instead of hiking back with us, would simply drive us back to our cars.
We arrived at the Sand Dollar. We talked to Mike and found out that he was sick and that he and Diana wouldn't be coming. And so we had no choice but to hike out, rain or no rain.
Nonetheless, we enjoyed our beer and oysters as planned. And garlic fries. And enormous hamburgers. And more garlic fries. And because we were still hungry, bread pudding. Yum!
The hike back seemed to go more quickly. Perhaps it was because we weren't spending as much time with the wildflowers, the redwoods, and the ferns, and the oaks. I did see a grove of trilliums, but they hadn't yet bloomed. Wonderful forest. Green. Lush. Delightful!
And lots of stairs. We arrived at the parking lot and we were beat.
And then it started to rain. It dumped. Coming back over the bridge the high winds threw the car sideways.
A great day.
Copyright © 2005 Bill Wohler
Last modified: 2006-02-05 10:26:44 -0800 (Sun, 05 Feb 2006)